Helping Hand Initiative Update

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Willie and Rosie are not only sisters, they have been neighbors on Suttenfield Street in Ft. Wayne for many years. Each of these senior residents choose to purchase food and medicine on their limited income instead of spending money on critical home repairs. Willie’s bedroom had no electricity — it had been that way for more than a year — and bathroom fixtures required repair.

When Rosie saw a team from Laborers For Christ (LFC) helping Willie, she asked about getting help with new handrails, grab bars, as well as some exterior repairs. Both were overjoyed and thankful when the team of workers arrived!

These are just two of the 15 homeowners whose homes are safer and whose lives are better thanks to the 2017 NHSC Helping Hand Initiative and our partners in the community.

While located in a neighborhood on the north side of the city, Holy Cross Lutheran Church has formed an intentional partnership with Vicar Lewis King and the King’s Community Outreach Center in a distressed neighborhood in downtown Ft. Wayne. It has been a perfect partnership for this year’s initiative.

Vicar King has been a part of the neighborhood for many years, but the initiative has provided even more opportunity to make connections and build relationships with his neighbors. Six (6) of the recipient families are now attending Sunday morning worship at the center, and one was inspired by the spouse of a LFC worker to begin making prayer shawls to provide for those in need of comfort and prayer.

Before the end of July, 2017, a team of youth from Holy Cross will complement the work that the LFC team began. Local contractors will complete the replacement of roofs and other repairs that require specialized labor. Vicar King and his wife are certified are certified to provide financial and consumer education. They will deliver budgeting and financial management skills training to the project recipients, a key component of the Helping Hand Initiative.

Would you like to see the Helping Hand Initiative come to your community? Contact Fred Kimbrough, NHSC’s Director of Projects and Lending, for more information (314-996-1647 or fred.kimbrough@lcms.org).


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